The five original fairy tales included in this volume were first published by Davis Nutt in 1888. Although it is said that Wilde wrote them for his two young sons, the author himself claimed they were '...not for children, but for childlike people from eighteen to eighty'. Since then the stories have been constantly reprinted and, despite the author's disclaimer, children have made the tales their own, a particular favourite being 'The Selfish Giant' - the highly moral story of the giant who banished children from his garden, so that spring never came. Charles Robinson, who produced the illustrations for a special edition first published in 1913, brought to the book a feeliong for its innate sadness that exactly fits the poetry of Wilde's text.
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(211mm x 160mm x 12mm)
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UK Kirkus Review »
Wilde's beautiful and sad stories are certain to bring a tear to the eye. The political undertones will keep adults intrigued, while the title story and marvels like 'The Selfish Giant' will keep children entranced. These tales should be read by everyone at some time in their life. (7 yrs +) (Kirkus UK)
US Kirkus Review » Ray takes inspiration from the well-known fairytale, wherein a prince is raised in splendid, protective surroundings. He grows old and dies without ever seeing the misery endured by the people of his city: ignorance is bliss. Only from the leaden perch of the statue raised in his honor can the prince comprehend the truth. Wilde gets fair handling in this adaptation, but curiously, some of the poignancy is lost. Still, this is a wonderful tribute to the importance of compassion. Ray's paintings - sometimes baroque and glittering with gold, other times stiff Egyptian vistas, still other times bleak, Dickensian scenes - are transporting. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on 16 October 1854. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin and Magdalen College, Oxford. He later lived in London and married Constance Lloyd there in 1884. Wilde was a leader of the Aesthetic Movement. His only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, was first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890. He published a revised and expanded edition in 1891 in response to negative reviews which criticised the book's immorality. Wilde became famous through of the immense success of his plays such as Lady Windemere's Fan (1892), An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). In 1985, after a public scandal involving Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, he was sentenced to two years' hard labour in Reading Gaol for 'gross indecency'. His poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol was based on his experiences in prison and was published in 1898. After his release, Wilde never lived in England again and died in Paris on 30 November 1900. He is buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery.